IsoTek V5 Aquarius Power Conditioner

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Priced from $3,995.00

6 Separate Conditioning Stages With 60dB RFI Reduction

Removes Mains Noise, 81,000A Surge Protection

Adaptive Gating Eliminates Differential Mode Noise Between Outlet Sockets

Includes IsoTek EVO3 Premier C19 Power Cable

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About The IsoTek V5 Aquarius Power Conditioner

The original Aquarius was one of the most cost-effective power cleaning upgrades money could buy. The new V5 model takes the Aquarius concept to a higher level. There is more instant on tap power due to an increased 35% circuit board copper loading, direct current resistance is at least 25% improved moving closer to the ideal of zero Ohms. Protection is also raised to 81,000A instantaneous. This six-way mains power-cleaning unit resents the market standard. Two high-current outlets are provided for amplifiers, subwoofers and so on, with four medium-current sockets for other components. Each outlet of Aquarius has its own dedicated power-cleaning network, thus six power cleaners in one box!

Removes Mains Noise: Differential Mode mains noise is created by all electrical appliances – everything with a power supply, in fact. This includes your microwave oven, your television and your computer, as well as every hi-fi component you own.

Common Mode mains noise is often referred to as RFI – transmitted frequencies that surround us but we cannot see. For example, imagine how much data is transmitted by smartphones and tablets; cheap power cables act as aerials (antennas) for these unwanted frequencies.

Sine Wave Correction: From a high quality audio point of view, mains electricity needs two factors; a nice 50 or 60Hz sine wave supplied from a very low impedance source, without radio frequency noise. The low impedance makes for a near constant voltage regardless of how much power is used in the surrounding area. In reality we can typically expect around 5% fluctuation. The very low impedance of the mains, which is way below 1 ohm at 50 or 60Hz is not maintained when approaching radio frequencies (> 50 ohms > 100 kHz) and acts as an aerial (antenna) inviting RF noise.

IsoTek’s power cleaning circuits are designed to reduce impedance whilst remaining safe as well as correcting well into the audio frequency bands. This is not only a judgment from sound electrical engineering, but it also follows the codes of electrical safety, which are independently assessed.

Multiple Filter System: Many IsoTek products are not just a single power cleaning system but are multiple power cleaners in one convenient chassis. The advantage being that each component in your audio system has its own dedicated clean power delivery system. Furthermore, Differential Mode noise, created as electrical devices draw power, is kept to a minimum and the possibility of electrical noise cross contamination between outlet sockets is eliminated.

Many power cleaning systems simply place a standard filter design in a box with all outlet sockets joined together in series one after the other, thus connected equipment cross contaminates and the purpose of the product is lost.

Independent Sockets: IsoTek products feature outlet sockets that are totally independent from each other; no two outlet sockets being directly connected. This is a critical point for limiting or eliminating the cross contamination of Differential Mode mains noise. Each socket connects directly back to the PCB and is serviced by IsoTek’s unique power cleaning technologies.

High Grade Components: Every IsoTek product uses the finest grade electrical components, many custom made, using the highest quality metals and materials which are specifically designed for purpose. Quality doesn’t stop at parts but also extends into the PCB designs, which maintain high levels of amperage and extraordinarily low levels of resistance, using up to eight times the general standard of copper prior to pure silver plating.

Internal wiring also uses high purity coppers combined with silver plating, with either Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) dielectric or IsoTek’s Virtual Dielectric of Air (VDA), where a FEP tube is wound around the conductor before an extruded FEP dielectric protects this construction giving unrivalled performance and the ultimate low resistance, high performance internal power delivery system.

Surge Protection: Power surges or spikes on the mains supply are generally very bad for any electrical device especially a high quality audio replay system. Power surges occur when there is a boost to the electrical charge at some point in the power lines. This causes an increase in the electrical potential energy, which can increase the current flowing to your wall outlet. This in turn can damage your sensitive audio system.

The IsoTek protection system uses an array of VDRs which offer a cascading level of protection, in some cases over 100,000A. These step in fast and sequentially dependent upon the severity of the encountered power surge or spike. The architecture of the protection circuit extends dramatically and almost instantly when required.

The protection circuit has two primary functions, one to preserve itself and the second to step in gradually as any problem increases, with the ability to act very fast should an extreme condition occur. The protection circuits also protect the filters and the filters assist the protection in the initial stage. Unlike many protection devices these assist sound quality as well as providing protection.  Studies suggest this problem is not subtle and is frequent. The disturbing challenge is the 1,000 to 6,000V range. It is likely most protection systems do very little good and probably cause sound degradation.

Adaptive Gating: IsoTek’s unique Adaptive Gating system determines the appropriate level of differential filtration for any connected load. The maximum level of overall power filtration is achieved whilst respecting current requirements.

This system also eliminates Differential Mode noise cross contamination between outlet sockets, as all connected devices will corrupt the supplied clean power upon consumption throwing back Differential Mode noise. It is vital that this noise isn’t allowed to affect another component’s performance.

K.E.R.P. (Kirchhoff’s Equal Resistance Path): Technical papers state that Kirchhoff’s circuit laws are two equalities that deal with the current and potential difference (commonly known as voltage) in the lumped element model of electrical circuits. They were first described in 1845 by German physicist Gustav Kirchhoff. This generalized the work of Georg Ohm and preceded the work of James Clerk Maxwell. Widely used in electrical engineering, they are also called Kirchhoff’s rules or simply Kirchhoff’s laws. These laws can be applied in time and frequency domains and form the basis for network analysis.

The guiding principles for IsoTek circuits are driven by Kirchhoff’s two current laws, a simple analogy would be that for every litre of water placed into a water distribution system we would expect to get the same out.

To put it another way, Kirchhoff and Gauss described how seemingly impossible problems could be resolved by the concept of a town. If traffic flows on a circular orbital road around the town there is no effect on the town. However, if traffic enters the town, then there will be an effect on the town, and however many cars that enter eventually have to leave. The structure of that town will have either a positive or negative effect on that migration. In electronics this is also true. We must totally respect the signal path as, whether one wishes it or not, ultimately everything will be in the signal path to a greater or lesser degree.

Solid OCC Copper AG: As one would expect, the internal wiring of any IsoTek product is of the highest standard, ultra pure Ohno Continuous Cast copper solid core conductor strands with silver-plating offers low resistance and high amperage. A Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) helix is wound around the conductor before an extruded FEP dielectric protects the conductor and creates a Virtual Dielectric of Air (VDA). This construction gives unrivalled performance and gives the ultimate low resistance, high performance internal power delivery system.

IsoTek’s internal wiring synergizes with the range of IsoTek power cables. One critical but overlooked area is maintaining commonality of design and material properties though an audio wiring loom, be it signal carrying cables or your power cable network.

Continuous Absolute Power: IsoTek delivers absolute power, unrestricted current delivery within what the power company can supply, and regulations allow. Generally, for power amplifiers or high wattage electronics IsoTek provides output which offers extremely low impedance and low DCR, this completely eliminates (within the concepts of power filtering) any possibility of current restriction and enhances dynamic range, the impedance of the chain back to the power station being far larger. When power is contaminated, dynamic range is reduced.

It is impossible to get more than 100% out of the mains supply. The very principle of AC power is that it doesn’t store energy in the transmission system. It is therefore impossible to store energy in an AC system by the very principles by which it works. There can be no so-called power reserve, thus a power reserve within an AC circuit in the truest sense of the word does not and cannot exist.

Power reserve would require the voltage to increase as ohms law insists it must, saying a circuit doesn’t sag isn’t a reserve of power. The AC waveform goes between maximum and minimum points at 50 Hz in 10 mS, it then swings to the maximum negative value. At 20 mS a full cycle is achieved. Therefore, in fact the average values of an AC waveform is zero. Only as a power wave can it be positive, this is due to the law of squared negatives. It looks like a ballooned sine wave where the value of 45 degrees is 0.5 not 0.7071 from a trigonometric table. Were this only a voltage wave it would have a long-term value of zero! As far as energy storage is concerned zero is the value of stored energy.

Direct Current resistance (DCR) will cause sag. To put it in other words, a system has to be developed which does not limit the power reserve of the power station, meaning a circuit needs to have extremely low resistance whilst maintaining sufficiently high inductance. When done correctly and in perfect balance the inductance is virtually zero at 50/60 Hz and the Direct Current resistance (DCR) is also very close to zero. Therefore, an ideal filter circuit must maintain zero Ohms resistance DC (or very close) and considerable AC resistance to noise above 50/60 Hz. Despite statements to the contrary, this is precisely where correctly specified materials matter most. Whilst some might consider these ‘exotic’ they represent a critical and important part of the function and appropriate to use. Remarkably IsoTek filter designs can maintain very low resistance at 50/60Hz but have very high amounts of noise cancellation above that frequency.

Most AC circuits are reactive – produce a reaction either from the power drawn or the circuit itself, put simply they are not pure resistors and behave like a capacitance and resistance or an inductance and resistance. In an ideal world the only allowable impediment is resistance and ideally this needs to be extremely low. A dilemma, do you want high transient power, or do you want heavy filtration – amazingly you can have both, but one must have components of the very highest quality, which are designed specifically for purpose with totally correct architecture. This is extremely complex and has resulted in the design of specialist parts; these do not exist outside the world of specialist power engineering and are unique to IsoTek designs.

System Link: V5 Aquarius also contains a System Link outlet, this is designed to connect multiple units together, maintaining a stared earth reference, and preserving the need for multiple wall outlet sockets.

About IsoTek

Launched in Hampshire, UK in 2001, IsoTek is a leading brand of power management products for hi-fi and home cinema use. Its product range includes high-performance mains cables and connectors, plus a range of performance-enhancing power boards and conditioners focused on the specific requirements of individual systems. IsoTek products are enjoyed by more than 100,000 customers in over 45 countries, and have earned numerous accolades from specialist audio and AV publications worldwide.

The improvements that IsoTek components bring to sound quality are immediate and profound. The noise floor drops and the sound gains greater focus, with reduced grain and improved clarity. Bass is tighter and better defined, treble gains more space and ‘air’, and the overall musical performance appears more solid and dynamic, and hence more ‘real’. In AV systems, picture quality is similarly enhanced, with richer colours, improved depth and greater definition.

IsoTek Power Cables are the first step in improving the quality of power getting to your hi-fi or home theatre system. The next step is to include an IsoTek Power Board to pug you power cables into. If you’re really serious about cleaning up your mains then get ready to spend real money on an IsoTek Mains Power Conditioner and even better IsoTek power cables. Your system will love you. And, you can rest assured that IsoTek products also deliver unrivalled protection from damage caused by lightning strikes and power surges, and extend the lifespan of valuable electronic components. Discover IsoTek and unleash your system’s full potential.

IsoTek V5 Aquarius Review

“The only way to really evaluate that is a spot of side-by-side comparison. I know the EVO3 Aquarius well (I knew the GII Mini Sub it replaced quite well too), and know both its strengths and its weaknesses. And the first problem for the V5 Aquarius was the EVO3 was mostly strengths and not many weaknesses! To build a better EVO3 Aquarius was enough of a daunting prospect that it took IsoTek more than a dozen years to make a viable replacement that is claimed to improve on the EVO3. But, deep down, does it?

Oh, hell yes! It’s little wonder the EVO3 Aquarius proves popular with the Naim fraternity, because it has really good musical timing (more accurately, it gets out of the way enough to let the system play good timing), but the V5 Aquarius makes the EVO3 sound like it’s on strong antipsychotics. OK, so there’s no drooling or slurred speech involved, but where the EVO3 delivers good rhythm, the V5 is peppy, immediate and upbeat. It simply leaves the EVO3 behind. Given the EVO3 is already considered one of the most fast reacting power conditioners, and that the V5 leaves it almost for dead, this new chassis (and what it contains inside) is something of a revelation.

And the V5 reveals itself when playing some swampy country rock, such as Larry Jon Wilson’s ‘Ohoopie River Bottomland’ [Heartworn Highways, Light In The Attic]. This is a great and mostly unsullied recording, with an infectious beat but one that’s prone to getting lost in the ensemble. Any sense of reticence on the part of the power conditioner makes this track sound almost tired in the middle eight (the key change is so relaxed, you barely notice it until after it happens). Here, everything is just perfectly balanced and pitched. The EVO3 reacts fast to this kind of music, faster than many in fact, but the V5 just reacts faster.

If it were just those timing benefits and nothing else, the V5 would be something to shout about, but it’s more than that. One of the big excuses for holding out on a power conditioner is that – although it might demonstrably improve the spaciousness, the detail retrieval, lower the noise floor and let the components ‘time’ better, they mess with the dynamic range… so I’m out! I can sort of sympathise; a power conditioner that improves nine out of ten things, but wrecks the last one, isn’t worth keeping. And when it comes to dynamic range, for power conditioners, the only way is down; you can’t extend that range because the limit is the AC mains itself; all a good power conditioner can do is reduce the loss to the dynamic range. And the V5 Aquarius once again scores a hit here. Play something with a spot of bombast – Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances [Telarc], for example – and many conditioners just flatten out the sweeping power of the orchestra. Once again, the IsoTek Aquarius EVO3 did good; the IsoTek V5 Aquarius did better. Much better.

There wasn’t any test I could perform where the EVO3 scored better than the V5. The EVO3 scored extremely well in all these tests; detail retrieval, sound staging, image stability et al. The V5 improved on the EVO3 in each area of performance, and then went further, it drew the sound together in the way only the very finest of this type of product can. That’s a joy to find at any price.

I’m not finding anything to dislike about the IsoTek V5 Aquarius; it looks great, it brings the best out of the sound of your equipment and if its predecessor is anything to go by it will be hugely popular and be incredibly reliable. Excellent!” Hi-Fi+

Our Take On The IsoTek V5 Aquarius Power Conditioner

Now, if you were thinking that reading all the technical aspects of the V5 Aquarius outlined above would be a great cure for insomnia then you would not be on your own. Fortunately the V5 Aquarius is one handsome piece of audio equipment (yes, they do exist) exceptionally easy to set up and use and, in a quality system that reveals differences in components and recordings, the results are night and day. The freeing feeling of clean power cannot be overstated. Your music breathes with new life and all of your components are able to operate at their full potential which means all that hard earned money you poured into assembling a great sounding system has finally paid off. Many a happy hour listening to old favourites or new discoveries is basically assured when you invest in an IsoTek V5 Aquarius power conditioner.

Main Features & Specifications

  • Design: 6 outlet power conditioner suitable for all stereo or home theatre systems
  • RFI reduction 60dB
  • 6 optimised power cleaning circuits to effectively remove Common and Differential Mode mains noise
  • 4 independent outlets for source components (6A)
  • 2 independent high current outlets for power amps, active subwoofers, active speakers etc. (16A)
  • Easy reset thermomagnetic fusing system
  • 81,000A instantaneous protection, 40,000A continuous
  • Fully star-earthed network
  • Solid core Ohno Continuous Cast copper silver-plated internal wiring with FEP virtual air dielectric
  • Supplied with IsoTek EVO3 Premier Power Cable – other power cables available separately (IsoTek recommend EVO3 Premier power cables or above)
  • Mains Inlet: 16A IEC C20
  • Mains Voltage: 100-240V / 50-60Hz
  • Number Of Outlets: 6 + System Link
  • Medium Current: 4 x 6A 1,380W total
  • High Current: 2 x 16A 3,680W total
  • System Link Outlet: For extending the outlets and maintaining a starred earth reference
  • Surge Protection: 81,000A
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 450 x 110 x 350mm
  • Weight: 9.5kg
  • Manufacturer's Warranty: 2 Years

Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE

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